North Antrim Hurling – McCaughan Cup
Shane Uí Neills Glenarm 2:22. Loughgiel Shamrocks 1:08
Report and pics by Pete Hyndman
Daniel Black and Ciaran Magill where the stars of the show helping their club to lift the silverware to round off the season. A strong sun shone on Latharna Og’s Brustin Brae pitch, the east Antrim club were hosting their annual Mc Caughan Cup Final. The pitch I have to say was in perfect condition, recently cut and just the right growth of grass ideal for hurling. Loughgiel, being no stranger to this competition, having previously won it 5 years in a row, and going for a sixth title. Glenarm to their credit, tore up the script and grabbed this game by the scruff of the neck and ran out convincing winners, after heartbreak against the same opposition in previous years.
Loughgiel would have been going into this game as strong favourites but it was Glenarm who showed the early promise, their grit and determination was prevelant from the throw-in, with an early point from Ciaran Magill. Two minutes on the clock and a Daniel Black free doubled the lead. Next off was a mishit poc out which was pounced on by Conal Ward to give Glenarm a three point lead. Cahal Hargan reduced the lead when he struck over a free for Loughgiel. Daniel Black added to his tally with another free a few minute’s later. Shane O Neill’s corner back Hugh Pat Mc Neill back to his best after a couple of years absence from club hurling, wasted no time to hussle the ball from a Loughgiel player and fed it with a pinpoint accurate pass to Kevin O Boyle who scored Glenarm’s fifth point.
Shane O Boyle for the Shamrock’s drove over another free for the red and white’s. The next score was a joy to watch, as Daniel Black working at wing three quarters claimed a ball, and instead of pointing, he went on a lung-busting run evading tackle after tackle and sent a rasper beyond Turlough Mc Carry in the Loughgiel net. Ciaran Magill hit his second point, followed by Black hitting another score over the bar. Glenarm’s scores where coming thick and fast with Ciaran Mulvenna scoring a brace, with Conal Ward slotting over his second score in the game. Loughgiel had to wait until the sixteenth minute to hit their first point from play after good work from Caolan Mc Ilhatton. Young Magill again running riot ran out to the wing and blocked down a clearance and accurately dissected the uprights for a well taken point, which pleased the travelling support”on the hill”.
Totally against the run of play a high looping ball was parried down by Liam Mulvenna, the Glenarm shot-stopper, but unfortunately into the path of Cathair Mc Grath who pulled the sliotar into the net, leaving the scoreline at 1-11 to 1-03, in favour of Glenarm. With a healthy looking score, the Feystown boys where in no mood to take their foot off the gas, as in a seven minute period they bagged 1-04 without reply. First to score was Magill with his fourth point. Dan Black had a great effort saved on the line but nippy forward Sean O Boyle pulled on the ball into the back of the onion bag!! Magill added a further Glenarm point, with Black converting two more points from free’s. Odhran Mc Grath mustered a point for Loughgiel before the whistle blew at the end of the half.
Glenarm 2-15 Loughgiel 1-04.
After the short whistle a good Cormac Mc Fadden point was cancelled out when Glenarm’s Dan Black slotted another excellent score. Mc Fadden to his credit dusted down a couple of tackle’s and gave Loughgiel some hope with another superb score over Mulvenna’s bar. Stopping the early shamrock pressure Ciaran Magill pointed from a near impossible angle to stop any idea of a Loughgiel comeback. A John Connolly point and a Cahal Hargan free added to the Lough Rd Men’s scoreline, but this turned out to be their final score’s.
Subs Sean O Hare and Aidan Mc Neill for Glenarm where to enter the fray, to give a break to Ciaran Mulvenna and Decky Mc Dermott who had both played a solid forty five minute’s. Water breaks can sometimes change a game but not this time as Glenarm showed no mercy to their opponents, as Black bagged a hat-trick of points (1-f) in a five minute demolition.
Shane O Neill’s emptied the bench with Kev O Boyle,Conal Ward and Liam Mc Loughlin all being rested, replaced by Darryl Mc Mullan, Rory Mulvenna and Ciaran O Boyle getting a run out. On 55 minute’s Magill showed his class with a fantastic point over his shoulder and shortly afterwards a Darryl Mc Mullan block-down was pounced on by Magill who again pointed. On the poc out the referee called for the ball as Glenarm ran out victor’s.
Loughgiel gave it their all, but a young team fielded today but where never really allowed to get going. Possibly with the quest of winning 6 in a row was playing on their minds. Cahal Hargan, Caolan Mc Ilhatton and Ciaran Mc Closkey all tried hard and deserve a mention. Shane O Neill’s newly crowned Mc Caughan Cup winners had winners all over the park. The defence were excellent today and laid a strong foundation to build on, driving the ball forward at every opportunity. Captain of the team Darren Hamill, and his bro Barry marshalled the rear-guard along with Liam Mc Loughlin, Hugh Pat and Decky Mc Dermott. The forwards deserve a special mention as they were a constant thorn in the shamrocks side, Sean and Kevin O Boyle, along with Ciaran Mulvenna took their scores well. Stand out players Daniel Black and Ciaran Magill wore their jerseys with pride today, helping their club to glory and stopping Loughgiels record a 6 in a row. Daniel scored 1-09 with Ciaran bagging 8 points, worthy joint Man of the Match.
Liam Mulvenna, Liam Mc Loughlin, Barry Hamill, Hugh Pat Mc Neill, Declan Mc Dermott, Darren Hamill, Paul Magill, Ben O Boyle, Paddy Mc Auley, Conal Ward -02, Daniel Black 1-09(5 f), Ciaran Mulvenna -02, Sean O Boyle 1-00, Kevin O Boyle -01, Ciaran Magill -08.
Subs. Aidan O Neill 45, Rory Mulvenna55, Sean O Hare 45, Ruairi Mellon,Darryl Mc Mullan55, Ciaran O Boyle 55, Ryan Mc Loughlin.
Turlough Mc Carry, Cormac Watt, Ronan Mc Fadden, Ryan Cassley, Finn Henry, Caolan Blair, Ciaran Mc Closkey,Cahal Hargan -02 f, Shane O Boyle -01 f, Caolan Mc Ilhatton -01, Cormac Mc fadden -02, Paddy Laverty, Odhran Mc Grath -01, John Connolly -01 f, Cathair Mc Grath 1-00.